Sikkim lies under the mighty range of Kanchenjunga (8534m) in the Eastern Himalaya. Only bio-organic state of India and the base of Ningma Buddhist culture.
March to May/Oct to Dec
Sikkim is wedged between Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and the North Bengal Plains of India, this region is a tangled mass of mountains drained by the Teesta, and Rangit Rivers.
The grain of the country rises from near sea level to 8500 meters, in a short distance, forming a giant amphitheater, hewn as it were from the great mountains. This provides an arc of the most magnificent snow clad mountains along west, north & east of Sikkim as a backdrop, making tiny state of Sikkim & Darjeeling (north Bengal) very beautiful.
Small but beautiful, Sikkim is the Jewel of the Eastern Himalayas, spread below the crowning glory of the 8534 meters high, Mount Kanchenjunga; which is not just a mountain, but the Sikkimese protective deity.
Amidst the grandeur of the mountain peaks, lush valleys fast flowing rivers, terraced fields, live a friendly people with deep belief in their culture and religion. This region offers her visitors rare and singular experience. Stunning snow clad mountain views, forest and flora, Buddhist culture and hill top monastries, thriving bazars, ancient handicrafts, holy lakes, and the delights of walking holiday, Car Tours & the high altitude treks, can all be yours, within the span of a few days.
All this and more in a land peopled by an amazing ethnic mix of beautiful, cheerful, Lepcha , Tibetan, and Nepali people forming a unique sub- culture of their own.
This region is connected to Delhi, , Calcutta, Guwahati by daily air services. The nearest airport is at Bagdogra. Train service from NJP railway station are avalable to all parts of India.
Sikkim is a restricted area but is open to foreign tourists for 15 days at a time. Foreign nationals can easily get a Sikkim entry permit endorsed on their India visa, by applying for the same to the nearest Indian mission.Entry permits are now also available at the Entry check posts at Rangpo and Malli. Contact us in case of difficulty.
Gangtok – Monasteries,bazaars, Alpine lakes & flora
S/08 : 03 to 05 days Tour to Explore Gangtok ( Sikkim) and surroundings
Explore the most atmospheric hill town in India, peopled by a fascinating blend of beautiful people- Lepchas, Nepali and Bhutias. Visit the world renowned Rumtek Monastery, and the Tibetology Institute with its large collection of Buddhist, icons, religious paintings and literature, roam the exotic bazaar ride the cable car for birds eye views, and admire a spectacular collection of orchids, plants and flowers. Ride the white waters of the Teesta or take the breath taking drive to the Kyangnosla Alpine Sanctuary and Tsongmo Lake, located at an elevation of 3752 m and Natu la pass on the Tibet birder. Shorter duration tours are also available.
Day 01: Arrive Bagdogra airport. and transfer to Gangtok
Arrive by air at Bagdogra. Met by car weith driver and transferred to Gangtok in 05 hrs.-
The drive to Gangtok is along NH 31 A . The road follows the scenic Teesta River valley most of the way There are lovely forests, terraced cultivation, and picture postcard villages on the way. The distance is 124 Kms and the driving time is 4.30 hrs. At Rangpo –the entry point to Sikkim, Foreign visitors ( if any) have to stop for entry formalities.
Entry to sikkim for foreign Nationals is restricted. In addition to an Indian visa, foreign nationals must obtain an Inner Line Permit (ILP)to visit Sikkim. The permits can be obtained at the entry check post at Rangpo, on the spot without any delay provided photocopies of Passport and Visa details along with two passport photos of applicants are made available then and there.
Upon arrival at Gangtok check in at your hotel for overnight.
Gangtok – the capital of Sikkim, is a modern hill town with ancient monasteries It is located in the shadow of the Chola Range at an altitude of 1767 m. Dating back to mid 19 th centurary, it sprawls down the West side of a massive ridge. It has a rich cultural heritage, bustling modern bazaar, exotic handicrafts, and lovely people.
The main attractions are Rumtek Monastery, for its gilded “chorten”, traditional architecture, exquisite paintings, intricate woodwork, treasures of manuscripts and icons, The Tibetology Institute, displaying Buddhist icons, religious paintings, and literature and . The Directorate of Handicrafts, where ancient skills are kept alive. Around Gangok you can ride the white waters of the Teesta , take the spectacular day trip through the the Kyangnosla Nature Park, to the holy Tsangu Lake at 3752 m altitude, and the second trip to the Buddhist monasteries at Phodong and Labarang.
Day 02 : Gangtok Sightseeing tour: Monasteries , gardens and handicrafts
Guided sightseeing tour comprising:-
Headquarters of the Karamapa branch of the kargyu sect, Rumtek Monastery was rebuilt in 1964, as a replica of the Tsurphu Monastery, which was the original headquarters of the Kargyu Sect in Tibet. The 16th Gyalwa Karamapa, head of the order undertook this, after he fled from Tibet, and settled in Sikkim. Behind the main temple are the Dharma Chakra Center, and the Nalanda Institute of Buddhist Studies. Here monks spend a minimum of nine years, in study, followed by three years of meditation. The gilded chorten or stupa studded with precious stones containing the remains of the Karamapa, as also the main temple, are the main attractions. With its traditional architecture, exquisite paintings, intricate woodwork, housing treasures of manuscripts and icons, Rumtek is a splendid example of Tibetan monastic art.
The drive to and fro Rumtek, is through picture post card country. As the road winds down through terraced fields and smiling hamlets, we get a full view of Gangtok, and marvel at the multistoried structures, dotting the hillsides.
Afternoon and Evening is free to explore Gangtok on your own.. Your guide will be happy to arrange transportation on request. Some of the options are :-
Day 03: Day trip to Kyangnosla Alpine Sanctuary Tsongmo Lake, 3752 m and Natu la pass on the Tibet border
Drive to Tsongmo Lake, through the KyangnosLa Alpine Sanctuary. It is a 70 Kms round trip taking 04 hrs of driving. The road, which is the old trade route to Tibet, winds, up the cliff like mountain. It is cut through sheer rock faces, with awe inspiring sheer drops to narrow valleys below. Look at the vegetation changing from subtropical to Alpine, as passing through the Kyangnosla Pass, you finally arrive at this sacred lake. Yak rides are available at extra cost. Return to Gangtok, in time for a well-earned lunch at your hotel.
Indian Nationals can extend the trip to include Natu La on the Tibet border and Baba Mandir.
Special permits are required.
To visit Tsongmo Lake & beyond, permit application for Indian Nationals requires proof of identity and photographs
For foreign nationals, we will need photocopies of passport and visa Plus 3 coloured passport photos.
Warning: Because of high altitude and sudden ascent, you will need suitable parkas, heavy socks, and balaclava caps. Avoid exerting, such as fast walking and shouting. Those suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, and other respiratory problems, are advised to avoid this trip. In case of severe headache, Nausea or vomiting, return immediately to lower altitude.
Day 04: Day trip options:
White water rafting in the Teesta River: The River Teesta , offers the exhilaration of white water rafting. The river offers some fine Grade III rapids and one Grade IV rapid. Sandy beaches line the river at intervals allowing river rafters to pull up alongside. The slopes on either side are covered with evergreen forest, occasional villages with their terraced cultivation are part of the landscape. It is one hrs drive to the Rafting site. About 6 hrs are required to do a half day trip with 02 hrs of rafting. Depart at 0700 hrs. to return for lunch at your hotel.
Day trip to Phudong and Labrang Monasteries and ruins of Tumlong- the ancient capital of Sikkim
Drive 28 Kms along the North Sikkim highway to visit Phudong and Labrang Monasteries
Day 05: Gangtok- Bagdogra
Drive from Gangtok to Bagdogra Airport in 05.00 hrs. TOUR ENDS
Version 1: 04 day option by deleting day 4 trips
Version 2: 03 day option by deleting Day 3 and 4 trips
Western Sikkim – Cradle of Ningma Buddhism; Monasteries & trekkers’ delight
The legendary installation of the Namgyal dynasty, by three monks in 1642, introduced Ningma Buddhism in Sikkim. They came together at Yoksom, and as it had been prophesied, in sacred texts, they searched, and found Phuntsog Namgyal; anointed him with holy water, gave him the title of “chogyal” – meaning king of religion, and urged him to spread Buddhism, amongst the ethnic Lepchas. At that time the local people were animist worshipping nature spirits. On various hill tops inter- visible to each other, are located a string of holy sites.
All the holy Buddhist sites can be visited by staying at Pamayangtse ( Pelling and Gayalshixing), Tashiding – Yoksom & Renchenpong.
Around Pamayangtse, the main attraction is the Pamayangtse Monastery-the sublime perfect lotus. It was built in 1705, and is the paramount of the Nyingmapa monasteries of Sikkim, being regarded the most prestigious. It is well known for its seven level wooden pagoda structure of mind boggling intricacy, depicting paradise. The late Dongzin Rimpoche crafted this, over five years of solo effort. Sangacholing Monastery-the place of secret spells, was founded in 1697. Clay statues dating back to the 17th Century are amongst the oldest in Sikkim. Another reason for visiting Pamayangtse are the splendid sunrise views of Mount Khangchendzonga.
The Kechepheri Lake and Monastery – the noble heaven-reaching mountain, nestles in a forested bowl, at 2000 meters, elevation. Here the legendary guardian bird is always on duty to pick up dead leaves falling on its surface, to keep the holy lake clean.
Around Yoksom, the Coronation site, where the three monks appointed the first king of Sikkim, is a simple stone bench. Dhubdi Monastery – The hermits cell, dates back to 1701. This was the monastery of the first capital of Sikkim. The Norbugang Chorten, where offerings given to the first king by the people were buried by the monks as holy relics, is located is short distance from Yoksom. Tashiding Monastery – The temple of the Religious king, was constructed atop a eart shaped hill, at the very spot where according to the Buddhist scriptures Guru Rimpoche, the founder of Buddhism in Tibet, blessed the sacred land of Sikkim. Built in 1716, it is famous for Thong-wa-rang-to – the sacred chorten, which means savior by mere sight. It is believed that the mere act of beholding it washes away all the sins of the devotee. The sacred holy water from Tashiding is distributed to pilgrims at the Bamchu festival, from an ancient bowl, which never dries up.
West Sikkim is the perfect place for Buddhist enthusiast to walk around the monasteries to learn about Ningma Buddhism.
Sikkim Singelila Range – trekkers paradise
This ridge rising up to the great peaks of the Khangchendzonga group, offers a combination of treks reaching up to the 5000 m high Goche-la. The 15 days Sikkim Singelila Traverse explores the entire ridge upto the Goche-la. There is also the 8 days Dzongri trek and the 10 days direct Goche-la trek. Shorter 3-5 days treks are available from Uttery, to viewpoints offering panoramic views og Khangchendzonga and Everest.
Rinchenpong & Barsey (Vershay) – Flora, great views and nature treks
For those who want to be lost in nature, and enjoy a secluded holiday, Rinchingpong at elevation of 1500 meters offers, home-stay at a Sikkimese heritage farm, and at the village of Hi Barmoik, There are easy nature walks, in forests of Oak, pine, fir, Rhododendrons and many other flora, bird watching, visits to Buddhist Gompa built in 1730, and a unique heritage Lepcha tribal home. There are superb views of all the great peaks, including Everest and Khangchendzonga group.
We offer several nature treks ranging from 4 to 7 days, traversing the Varsey Rhododendron sanctuary reaches up to 3696 m. The Rhodedendrons bloom in March- April – but the autumn trek in Oct-Nov is equally enchanting with better views.
ST/10: 03 days Nature & Culture Khangchendzonga view trek
Max Elevation: 2800 m. Views of Khangchendzonga
Grade: Moderate. (Strenuous in parts)
Period: Mar to May and Oct to Nov. Rhododendrons bloom mid Mar – mid Apr
This short trek climbs up in one day from Uttery ( W Sikkim) to Achelley Danra, 2800 m through Rhododendron forests, wild orchids, and fern species. Enroute you have a chance to visit a Buddhist monastery and explore a Sherpa village. Camp overnight at a nature camp and see the sunrise on Khangchenzonga. Listen to bird song and see some of the bird species. Trek back to Uttarey.
Trek tour starts and ends at Utterey in W Sikkim . Pick up from Bagdogra, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Gangtok, or any other part of Sikkim, can be arranged with overnight stop at Utterey/ Rinchenpong/ Hi Barmoik or Pelling.
Day 01: Arrive Uttery
Drive from Bagdogra/ NJP/ Kalimpong / Darjeeling/ Pamayangtse/ Yoksom/ Gangtok to arrive at Utterey for overnight stay at Lodge.
You can also drive early morning from Rinchenpong/ Hi Barmoik or Pelling, to Uttery to start the trek.
Day 02: Trek Utterey, 2300 m – Achalley Danra, 2800 m
Trek starts from Uttery after early breakfast. It is a fairly steep climb of 500 m . Inexperienced trekkers will find it strenuous in parts. The trek takes 05- 06 hrs. Enroute you will visit Maneybong Kagyu Buddhist Monastery. One of the oldest monasteries in Sikkim, it was built in the year 1711 A.D. and the Mangheem Thegu Sherpa village. There are lovely Rhododendron forests, with wild orchids and fern species, and a chance to do some bird watching.
In clear weather the sunset panorama from Achalley is breathtaking. Overnight in camp.
Day 03: Anchalley Danra – Utterey
Get up early morning for sunrise views of Khangchendzonga, Siniolchu,
Rathong and other lesser peaks. Explore the Rhododendron forests and trek back to Utterey in 4 hrs.
Stay overnight at Utterey or drive to Pamayangtse or Rinchenpong in 1.30 hrs for overnight at a hotel / lodge.
End of trekking tour.
North Sikkim – Snow, sky- scraping mountains, Rhododendrons, Century old Gumpas & yaks
This is the most rugged and spectacular district of Sikkim, has its headquarter at Mangan. Is 76 kms from Gangtok. It comprises the valleys of Lachen, Lachung (the valley of flowers), Dzongu and Tholung.
The two main distributaries of Teesta Leaching Chu & Lachen Chu flows from here.
Each of these is formed by fast flowing glacier fed rivers originating from The Great Himalayan Range and its offshoots, the Singelila Range and the Chola Range. Mighty peaks ranging between 6000 to 8500 meters, enclose it on three sides. A part of North Sikkim, even lies across the Himalayas, on the Tibet Plateau. The visitor can visit the high altitude, Yumthang Valley of Rhododendrons, the tribal villages of Lachung and Lachen with great Gurudongmar Lake.
With special permits you can stay at the remote Lepcha reserve called Dzongu, and trek through the remote Tolung Valley to the Kishong-la .Indian nationals, now from 2018 foreign nationals can also visit the 5136 m high Gurudongmar Tso ( Lake) which is located acress the Great Himalayan Range.
Lachen means big pass, situated at an altitude of 2750 mt is a stunningly beautiful & peaceful place in North Sikkim known for its sacred Gurudongmar Lake and century old Lachen Monastery dominating the village.
Lachen is the base of many trekking areas in North sikkim region including famous Green Lake , Kanchenjunga National Park treks.
From Lachen one can visit Chopta Valley and one can take expedition to Green Lake & Singhba Rhododendron Sanctuary with special permits.
GURUDONGMA LAKE & CHOPTA VALLEY IS NOW OPEN FOR FOREIGN NATIONALS ALSO.
Lachung means small pass, is a beautiful hill station in North east Sikkim in North Sikkim District with an altitude of 2900mt(9600 ft). Before the Chinese occupation Lachung was a trading post between Sikkim & Tibet.
This beautiful place, now has developed as a tourist town. Trip to Yumthang Valley till Zero point with Rhododendrons during the season, the fluffy snow and stunning sky scraping mountains are the tourist attractions.
Dzongu is the untouched protected area for Lepchas, the original people of Sikkim, in the north Sikkim, 17 km from Mangan, with best snowcap Mountains, streams, waterfalls, thick forests, tiny beautiful Lepcha hamlets, absolutely non polluted air and serene & tranquil atmosphere. It has been recently opened up their homes to the visitors who love nature.
Activities that you can involve with are walking, trekking, taking baths in rivers/waterfalls/hot water spring, birding, running behind the butterflies, visiting tiny hamlets, enjoying local cuisine, bamboo bridge crossing and to befriended withLepcha folks.
Dzongu offers good walking circuit around its villages in upper & lower Dzongu.
S/10: 04 Days North Sikkim Escapade
Escape to the pristine charms of North Sikkim. Travel by car to the quaint villages of Lachung and Lachen and drive through Yumthang Valley – the vale of Rhododendrons up to altitude of 4200 m. Forests, snows, meadows with grazing yaks, cascading glacial rivers, waterfalls, Budhist Gompas, Lachungpa tribals and more. Indian nationals can extend the tour to Gurudongmar Tso, 5136 m which is located across the Great Himalayan Range. For trekking enthusiasts the moderate 3 day Lama Anden view point trek, 4615 m, provides spectacular views of Lama Anden peak and surroundings Special entry permits required. Will be arranged by us. Short version of this tour is also available.
Day 01: Gangtok- Lachung ( North Sikkim)
(North Sikkim suitable for Apr-May and Sept- Oct-Nov)
Today you have a fascinating drive as you head for North Sikkim- the land of high altitude
glaciers, medows, Rhododendrons, fast flowing rivers and yaks. The drive of 143 Kms will
take you through rugged terrain , and narrow river valleys to Lachung, 2838 m. The driving
time is 05 hrs. Overnight
Day 02: Lachung, 2838 m- Yamthang Valley, 3543 m- Lachen ( North Sikkim)
After breakfast, day trip to Yumthang valley . Drive 24 Kms through the Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary. The road runs through picture postcard landscape. Climbing steadily upto 3543 m. It is nature at its best. Fast flowing glacial river, banks of forests, upland meadows with grazing yaks, with snow clad ridges enclosing the narrow valley on
three sides. During the season; 24 species of Rhododendrons bloom, creating a nature paradise. Walk around Yumthang valley
After lunch drive back to Lachung, 24 Kms. Continue to Lachen , 47 Kms. Overnight.
Day 03: Lachen ( North Sikkim)-Gurudongma Lake-Chopta valley-laches
Morning visit Gurudongma Lake & Chopta Valley and return to Lachen. Afternoon explore Lachen on foot. Visit the ancient Gompa .Overnight.
Day 04: Lachen- Gangtok
After breakfast drive back 124 Kms back to Gangtok in 5-6 hrs hrs. . Overnight.
Day 05: Gangtok- Bagdogra
After breakfast transfer by car to Bagdogra Airport ( 124 Kms) in 05 hrs, in time to board
your departure flight.
CONTACT FOR CUSTOM-MADE ITINERARY
Day 01: Bagdogra- Kewzing, 1700 m
Pick up from Siliguri /Bagdogra /Darjeeling/Kalimpong and driven to Kewzing in South Sikkim. Upon arrival you will stay at Homestay.
Kewzing lies just South of the Rabanga la pass at an altitude of 1700 m, the village is located against a backdrop of magnificent view of mountains that include Mt Narsing and Mt Kabru It lies just below the ridge line of the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, which is rich in a plants of medicinal value, flora and fauna. The sanctuary has an altitudinal variation ranging from 2300 m – 3263 m.
Kewzing is is home to the Dalling Monastery and the Mangbrue Monastery. The Kundragling Monastery (called the Bon Monastery) – the only one of its kind in Sikkim is located close by at Bakhim. The Ralang, and Doling Monastries can also be visited from Kewzing by car. . Kewzing is a typical Bhutia village; rich in cardamom forest cover. The atmosphere in the village is very serene and peaceful. Away from crowds, it offers visitors a chance to relax and rejuvenate themselves. The local people are very friendly and hospitable. The visitors get a chance to participate and witness rural life in Sikkim. They can also pursue their special interests in bird watching, study plants and flowers etc. It serves well as a place to experience the traditional Bhutia (Buddhist) way of life.
Day 02: Kewzing Cultural walk
Early morning visit the Kewzing monastery for blessing and peace of mind. After breakfast head for a Nature trek to Doling Monastery, along a lovely forest trail passing through Kewzing Village , forest, Mandeng(Buddhist Stupas), and small streams with log bridges which takes about two to three hours of easy walking.
After the lunch visiti the Bon-Monastery only monastery of its kind in Sikkim. In the evening visit the Mamrung monastery view point to enjoy the sunset view. Dinner and evening at leisure.Overnight at home stay.
Day 03: Trek to Rayong village and return to Kewzing via lush Tendong forest.
After early breakfast get dropped by car and start for a beautiful and wonderful Nature cum birding trek towards the village in 3-4 hrs hrs. Packed Lunch will be provided during the trek. On reaching Rayong village return trek to Kewzing via Dothra Forest bypassing the town of Ravangla – 2 to 3 Hours of trek.
Dinner and evening at leisure with the Host family. Overnight .
Day 04: Trek to Maenam hilltop, 3460 m & Bhaleydunga via thick forest of MaenamWild life sanctuary.
Early morning after the breakfast drive to Ravang la town to the Maenam Wildlife Sanctuary, Trek towards the top of the hill which is in an altitude of 3460 m, enjoying nature at its best. Time taken to reach the top – 04-06 hours
Pack -lunch will be served during the trek. After the lunch easy trek towards Bhaleydunga Once reaching Bhaleydunga trek back to Ravangla about 2 hours down hill. Or
Once reaching Bhaleydunga one can trek back to Yangang village which takes about 2 hours downhill and drive back to the farm house.
Dinner and evening at leisure at the Farm House. Overnight stay in the farmhouse.
Day 05: Drive Kewzing to Turuk
After breakfast drive to Turuk enroute Samdrupche visit and Cliff walk view.
Over night with heritage Home at Turuk. House build for British Viceroy.
Day 06: Enjoy the comfort of heritage home, walk around the property & the village. Learn the local pickle making with your host.
Day 07: Drive to next destination ( Darjeeling: 4.30 hrs. Gangtok: 3.30 hrs, Kalimpong: 03 hrs. Bagdogra 05.30 hrs)